UC San Diego Men's Basketball Camps
Head Coach Chris Carlson
Chris Carlson enters his second season as the head coach at UC San Diego, having guided the Tritons to the program’s most successful season at the Division II level in his first year at the helm in 2007-08.
Carlson was named the 11th head coach in program history in June of 2007 and made an immediate impact on the La Jolla campus, leading UCSD to an overall record of 18-12 last season -- the school’s best mark since the 1998-1999 campaign. After finishing sixth in the ultra-competitive California Collegiate Athletic Association standings at 11-9, Carlson’s Tritons caught fire in March, defeating Cal State San Bernardino, San Francisco State, and Cal Poly Pomona on the way to UCSD’s first CCAA Tournament title. UCSD earned a No. 8 seed in its first NCAA Tournament appearance at the DII level, falling to the University of Alaska-Anchorage, 80-60.
In addition to multiple program firsts, Carlson’s memorable inaugural season featured several upsets, including a victory over Division I foe UC Riverside and a pair of wins over nationally-ranked CSUSB. A new RIMAC Arena attendance record was set when 3,906 strong came out to watch UCSD take on SFSU on Spirit Night in late January. Lastly, two Tritons were recognized with All-CCAA honors in 2007-08 and five were named to the CCAA All-Academic Team.
Carlson joined the Triton family after spending the previous four seasons as the Director of Basketball Operations at UCLA under head coach Ben Howland. As the DOB, he was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the program and served as a liaison to the athletic administration and other school officials. Carlson also assisted in scheduling and recruiting and helped guide the Bruin program to back-to-back NCAA Final Four appearances in 2005-06 and 2006-07.
Before assuming his duties at UCLA, Carlson served in the same capacity for two years at the University of Pittsburgh, joining the Panther staff in the summer of 2001. Prior to that, he was a member of Howland’s staff at Northern Arizona in 1998-99 where he coached a Lumberjack squad that led the country in both field goal percentage and three-point percentage for the first time in NCAA history. He remained on at NAU for two years after Howland’s departure (1999-2001), where he worked with NAU’s post players and oversaw recruiting and scheduling.
Prior to his stint at Northern Arizona, Carlson served as an assistant coach at his alma mater, UC Santa Barbara, from 1994-98, where he oversaw development of the team’s perimeter players. He also served as an assistant coach at nearby Dos Pueblos High School in Goleta, Calif. from 1991-93.
Carlson worked as a game management assistant at the National Association of Basketball Coaches All-Star game for 12 straight years from 1993-2004 and has worked four NCAA Tournament West Regionals. In addition, he was an intern in the Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams media relations department, a sports information assistant at UCSB in 1993-94, and a member of the 1994 FIFA World Cup media relations staff.
A San Diego native, Carlson is a 1993 graduate from UCSB, where he received his bachelors in History. Prior to his days as a Gaucho, Carlson attended Helix High School in La Mesa, Calif., where he earned All-League honors in basketball. He and his wife Karen, have two sons, Nicklas (6) and Charlie (3).